Press Release

TRA and ITU sign agreement to establish an International Center of Digital Innovation

The ITU International Center of Digital Innovation will help foster digital innovation to drive digital transformation

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates and The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), signed an agreement on 29 June 2020 to establish an International Center of Digital Innovation, known as I-CoDI.

I-CoDI will help ITU Members, Sector Members and other key stakeholders to integrate innovation into their national development agendas and activities. The Center, to be based in Geneva, Switzerland, will also have a virtual component. The I-CoDI design phase will be completed by the end of 2020.

H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the TRA, said that “this experience reflects the success of innovation and creativity policies pursued by the UAE, which resulted in hundreds of projects and initiatives that contributed to achieving the UAE’s leading position in innovation. The UAE is no longer a country that imports ideas, but rather a source of innovation and success in various sectors.”

I-CoDI builds on CoDI, a  Centre of Digital Innovation (CoDI) launched by the UAE in 2013, as part of the UAE’s efforts in digital transformation and enhancing the digital journey of the UAE citizens and Government, through research, innovation, education, training, skills development, quality assurance and of advisory services.

“The growing digital innovation divide is at the heart of the digital divide,” said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. “Innovation has been recognized as a powerful engine for promoting development, addressing socio-economic challenges and increasing the overall competitiveness of countries. I look forward to working closely with the TRA to establish I-CoDI and contributing to the development of innovation strategies to accelerate digital transformation and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

Engineer Mohammad Al Zarooni CEO of Policies and Programs Department, at the TRA, stressed the importance of this initiative and added: that “ITU’s aim to transfer the experience of CoDI indicates its uniqueness and importance in serving the goals of global societies aimed at achieving sustainable development and digital transformation. We are proud of our accomplishments to this day, and we will continue working to achieve more success."

Creating a culture of innovation has been identified by ITU Member States a priority. At the 2014 World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14), Member States mandated the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau to  strengthen ITU membership capabilities to integrate ICT‑centric innovation in their national development agendas and promote a culture of innovation through enhanced partnership and cooperation with multi-stakeholders in a converged ICT ecosystem.